Tag Archives: Best Classes

LOVE IT or leave it?


OK, so first things first…about the 30 day challenge




Finished, done, mission accomplished. It was super fun, extremely tough, but unbelievably rewarding. I’m leaner, stronger and have experienced a huge increase in my endurance when I run, teach class, etc. I wish I would have had more time to write about everything, BUT…between training and being a busy mom the blog got put on the back burner.


But I’m back!


I want to share where I’m at since the 30 days and where I’m going…




I don’t really have a good, clear answer for that.



Ok, so that might be a bit of a stretch.


Here is what I do know:

  1. I will ALWAYS live, eat, sleep and breathe an active lifestyle. Literally, after one rest day I am ready to poke out both of my eyes with pencils.
  2. I will continue to fuel my body as I have been since I began the 30 day challenge. For me that doesn’t include any sort of “diet” (i.e. low-carb, low-fat, Paleo, etc). All food groups are included in varying portions. I am a big food journaler (NOT calorie counter) and that will probably stick too. It’s become a very healthy, balanced way of life.
  3. I will continue to teach group fitness as long as I am able. It is a huge gift and completely humbling anytime anyone shows up to work out to some killer music with me – crazy! It’s my oxygen; I don’t think I could live without it.

After that…


…things get a little more unclear.

I had wanted to do a triathlon, but it turns out I am not a huge fan of the bike or pool. I also intended to stay with my training program from the 30 day challenge, but I am not loving my spin workouts these days and I feel like there is just not enough time in the day with school out, etc. And really, am I made for this? Am I that girl? The kind that finishes every spin, bike, run, and crazy class with “big guns” with “is that all you got”?


Ummm…maybe?? I’m not really sure at this moment…but I want to find out, I think?


Do you hear all the excuses and questioning? Honestly, this is where so many of us get stuck!




Stop making excuses and stop questioning yourself. Because you know what?!





YOU CAN FINISH AND SAY “is that all you got”?



I’m going with a big old “NO” on that one. That isn’t all I got. There is more….lots and lots more. This is only the beginning, I’m just getting started.

This is where it gets scary and uncomfortable…when you start to go where you’ve never been before. You start to question yourself, think you aren’t “made for it” that your body just doesn’t “work that way”.

I’m calling my own bluff on this one.

I’m saying your’re just scared and you don’t want to look behind the curtain and see what you’re really made of.

So guess what,


I say:


Leaving would be easy for a minute, but full of lots of yucky stuff like regret, “what if”, and knowing I didn’t give 110%.

Seriously, who wants to deal with that??

For me, it’s all about digging deep on the days I don’t feel like it. It’s easy when the stars align, but your true power is tested when they don’t. That’s when you remember WHY you started your journey in the first place.

I love it when group fitness instructors ask “why are you here”? I mean duh, to get a great workout! I think what they mean is, the bigger WHY…why do you keep showing up, day in day out, good times, bad times, stinky times ūüėČ

Ok, so…why?

I’m putting a stop to any negative chatter that tells me I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve it or I can’t do it. I’m strengthening my body to make my mind so bulletproof that I walk down the street and people want what I’ve got. I’m showing my daugther that YOU CAN do ANYTHING if you WORK HARD, STAY STRONG and PERSERVERE. I’m fighting MY fight, staying positive and standing up for what I want. I’m not a quitter. I’m strong, passionate, energetic, intense, positive, willful, a little crazy, but always have my heart in the right place. I’m ready to rock, bring the noise and prove that I can do it. I’m that girl.

That’s why.

Find your “why”. Love it, don’t ever leave it.





Something New…

I went to bed last night with that icky, creepy feeling that only shows up when really crazy stuff happens in the universe. It had been a gloomy day already, and Sunday nights in general tend to cause me more anxiety than any other night. I’m watching “The Apprentice” while feeling myself lose brain cells by the second; I was trying to get my mind off of life for a minute. The news ticker starts scrolling, stating THE PRESIDENT is going to make a VERY IMPORTANT announcement about NATIONAL SECURITY!


That’s a little weird…on a Sunday night at 10pm EST?

What the bleep is going on?!

More anxiety…flashes of my family and how lucky we are race through my mind. I begin pleading with God…please don’t let anything bad happen to all of the amazing people in this awesome (truly) world we live in.

Fast forward: we all know what went down. Justice was served, although death never feels 100% like “justice” to me. Whatever the case, it was yet another gloomy day here in Minneapolis and I was on the edge.

It’s May 2!


In light of the gloom outside and the gloom in my head, I decided to forego all I needed to do and head to the gym to clear my mind and get a much needed endorphin boost. It seemed like the perfect day to step outside all that is comfortable to me and…

try something new!

Out bodies love it when we get out of our comfort zone. Our muscles have memories; they get used to the love of a yummy yoga class or the pain of a crazy cardio & strength combo.

When it comes to workouts, variety = change! It’s also really good for your mind to stay fresh and do things that make you feel uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe even clumsy.

Enter ZUMBA!

You’ve probably seen the infomercials and you’ve probably spoken with at least one person that is a die hard fan. People seem to really like their ZUMBA classes!

I’ve always gravitated to the high impact aerobic route – I enjoy a good series of high kicks and lots of jumping jacks set to some pumping techno music. This is my comfort zone and also my happy place…AND, it’s also the place that I need to take a break from sometimes.. Too much of this can make me feel tired, cranky, and depleted. i.e. The need for VARIETY!

Here is what I love about ZUMBA: it feels so good to your body! It’s more fluid than many forms of dance AND it’s low impact and fun! To shake your hips, stomp your feet and rock to the lovely Latin beat is really a sweet escape.

Today I had the joy of taking class from a true Latin dance legend! Meet, Leslie Fhima.

Yes, she is a totally rockin’ ZUMBA instructor. We are on the same group fitness team at LifeTime Fitness, St. Louis Park. I decided to look in the windows of my own little corner of the world to see if I might learn something, experience my body moving in a new way, and get a little uncomfortable in the process – we all know that’s when the growth happens and the learning begins.

I am discovering that the more I step outside of what I am scheduled to do and teach, the more I grow as an instructor. I don’t teach any type of dance format, but I can assure you that I was completely inspired by Leslie today. I hope to infuse a little of her flair (in my own way) into some of the cardio combos I teach this week.

I can see that ZUMBA is a format that you grow with. You will build a library of steps and combos as you take class and practice. Eventually, it will feel natural to weave them together. Today, it felt a little awkward and I didn’t like how I looked doing some of the moves. BUT, I stuck with it and let go of the negative thoughts racing through my head. I embraced the fact that I was doing something positive and fun, just because.

Leslie is a terrific ZUMBA instructor. Her music was fantastic and I really loved her choreography. She doesn’t use a microphone, which I am usually not a fan of, but I have to admit that it was nice not to have someone shouting at me for an hour.

Here are my recommendations to anyone wanting to try this format:

1. Try it! It can be found in major cities and small towns all over the US. And, you can even do it in your living room (see below, Exhibit A)

2. Don’t get discouraged. This type of class consists of choreography that could take a few times to flow for you. Stick with it and DON’T GIVE UP!

3. Have fun :). Most importantly, ZUMBA has the potential to leave you feeling like you just experienced a rockin Latin dance party. Let yourself go and enjoy it – if you are not able to let go, you absolutely will not enjoy ZUMBA.

Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or how you look.

It. Doesn’t. Matter.

I promise!

I had my own little dance party in my living room after class.

The moral of the story is this: there will be cloudy days, horrific world events, loss, fear, and anxiety in our lives. That is simply a law of nature.

The determining factor in your happiness is how YOU CHOOSE to handle it.

Do you let things get to you?


Do you step outside your comfy, cozy world, shake a little booty and dance to your own beat?

I hope I always choose dancing ūüôā

Peace, love, jumping jacks and latin rhythm…xo

YOU Inspire ME Twin Cities Fitness Peeps and Pros!

It’s been another amazing week of inspiration.¬† I was feeling¬†like I needed a little something just for ME;

some time to just let go and work out all of


I wanted to be inspired, feel strong, and release a little somethin…where did I go?

Bloomington North ~ LifeTime Fitness ~ 5:30pm ~ THE MIXX with Teri Mayers

YIKES!¬† What was I thinking?¬† I was tired, my legs were spent from the morning…BUT


THE MIXX  is a combination of :

– hi/low (think FLASHDANCE and 1984)

– cardio kickboxing

Р athletic endurance


It’s all “mixxed” together to create a total FITNESS PARTY!¬† This¬†is hands down my favorite format to TAKE and TEACH.¬†

Going back to Bloomington North is always a trip down memory lane.¬† I used to frequent that club when I lived on Highway 7 and Belt Line Boulevard back in the day.¬† Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be teaching those types of classes…it’s always a good reminder of how far I have come.

I knew there would be a “line” to get into class.¬†

I don’t do lines.

In my opinion, no class is worth standing in line.¬† I think it brings a sense of superiority to the group before¬†class even begins.¬†¬†Plus,¬†I simply don’t have time to wait in line for my workout – I’m a busy girl!

However, I made an exception because I knew it would be worth it.

Here’s my tip for new people interested in taking this class.¬† DON’T WAIT IN LINE!¬† I think it’s a little bit of a show and not really necessary – just show up 10 minutes early, go stretch on the floor next to the studio, and when the studio door opens, go in.¬† Trust me, you’ll be fine ūüėČ

Ok, so we get in the studio and the music is pumping – always great tunes with Teri.¬† I’m stretching, doing my thing, and all of a sudden I hear the class moving in unison doing the warm-up.¬† The people that have been going there forever start class.¬†


Ok, whatever, I’m over it.¬† Hop up and GO!

Within 30 seconds I knew I needed to view this hour as an insane learning opportunity.

I’m a fairly new instructor, and this is my format ~

~ take it in and absorb it like a sponge baby!

I believe Teri’s Mixx is THE BEST in the Twin Cities.¬† The way she weaves all of the elements together to make it modern and cool; flowing, hard and fun; it’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced in a class.

It feels mechanically safe and good for my body, but it’s highly challenging and so different all at the same time.

Plus, this woman can MOVE!¬† A simple side-touch looks like the coolest combo ever simply because of her twist and how she makes it flow.¬† Her transitions from an athletic endurance set to cardio dance to kickboxing is seamless. She doesn’t hold her combos forever, so you never get bored.

Here’s the other thing, she involves the class in a huge way without a ton of verbal cueing.¬† Between hand clapping and vocals from the group, there is an element of unity that is unspoken.

Her “regulars” help to make this class what it is.¬† They have been taking it for so long, they know the drill.¬† They are vocal and fun and add a “FAME”-like element – it feels like you are taking a grungy, hard-core class in a back alley somewhere.

It is an intimidating group and it is definitely not for a beginner or someone new to group fitness.¬† I’m a pro when it comes to taking classes and I was a little out of my element.¬† You need to be¬†tough mentally and provide your own positive self-talk soundtrack in your head.¬† There are beautiful people and amazing, strong bodies all around you…you CAN hang, for real!

Teri does a great job of pushing you to your physical limits Рjust keep in mind where YOU are and what YOU need and adjust accordingly.  I did need to modify some of the leg stuff since that was the last part of my body I needed to fatigue.  I have the confidence and knowledge for taking modifications in class, I encourage others to take the same approach for this one РYOU are always in control regardless of what the instructor is telling you.  Remember that people!

All in all, this hour of my week inspired me beyond belief and gave me a fresh look on a class I love and adore.¬† I believe I grew as an instructor tenfold from taking Teri’s class.¬† Her no-nonsense, tough-love approach is the perfect yin to my bubblegum and lollipop yang.

Most importantly, I had a blast and felt so good about myself at the end.¬† There was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to handle it mentally – the intimidation factor too high, me feeling like I wasn’t doing it “right”, couldn’t move like “that”, etc.

It would have gotten the best of me.

But not Tuesday.  I was there and I was inspired.

You’ve come a long way sista!


The Best of the Best: Group Fitness in Minneapolis

It’s Thursday and I’m flying high.¬† It’s been an amazing week of group fitness for me in the Twin Cities.¬†

If you are already a junkie, and you need a fix, I’ve got you covered!¬† If you are new, run, don’t walk to any of these classes.¬† These people will kick your booty AND inspire you beyond belief.¬†

Let’s start with Monday.¬†

Let me introduce you to Mr. Brad Wagner from THE FIRM.  I took his 5:15 pm Circuit Class (choreographed cardio and weights).

He teaches a ton – check out THE FIRM schedule online.

I know, adorable right?!¬† Brad will greet you with his big smile and you will immediately feel right at home.¬† If you are new, don’t be afraid to ask for help.¬† These people are beyond kind and want you to feel nothing but¬†love and acceptance.¬† Maybe it’s because they know they are about to inflict an insane amount of pain and ask you to do the unthinkable,¬†but who cares?¬† They are there to help and they are darn good at it – just ask.

I love THE FIRM because the energy absolutely cannot be replicated or forced.¬† I don’t know what it is, it just IS.¬†

-the music is loud

-the classes move fast

–¬†there are beautiful people everywhere!

Those three elements alone can be intimidating Рstay strong, stay confident, and know you belong. 

Here’s what I love about Brad

~high energy, great aerobic combos, fast-moving, insane music, and loads of positive energy~

He works the room really well -it’s always nice to feel like the instructor is right there with you.

I love my little Monday night cutie and can’t wait to go back next week!

Next up, Tuesday.

Say hello to my girl Dee Burton, also from THE FIRM.

Ya, she’s ripped.¬† But she’s super sweet!¬† She will kick your ass with a smile ūüôā

~seriously, her class is INTENSE!¬† Whenever I start to think “I’m strong, I got this”, I visit Dee for my reality check~

I went to her Tuesday 5:15pm Circuit Class (she also teaches HARD CORE spinning classes). 

I’ve personally gotten a lot of my inspiration from this amazing woman.¬† She is not only really smart about health and fitness, she is one of the most balanced and grounded people I have ever met, and that definitely shines through in her class.¬†

Dee pushes you to your limits and get you to do things you don’t think you can do – it’s really good for the body AND soul.¬†¬†

While on the subject of Dee, I must mention the power of a cute outfit. When it comes to working out, a cute pair of pants that not only hug your body in all the right places but also wick away sweat goes a long, long way my friends.  This buff little doll can hook you UP!  Check out her website at http://www.deezfit.com/.  

Ok, it’s Wednesday and my body is starting to feel the effects of the last two days.¬†

I taught my own class Tuesday morning, and did some major shoveling with my munchkin on Wednesday.  By Wednesday night, I was really running on fumes.

No fear, Katie Haggerty is in the house!

She is my dear friend, but I promise I am not biased with this pick.  You can ask any one of the 80 people that pack Studio 1 on any given Wednesday at St. Louis Park LifeTime Fitness to take THE MIXX (hi/lo, kickboxing, dance fused together) at 6pm.

It doesn’t matter:

  • ¬†who you are,
  • what you ate for dinner
  • how you look
  • how you feel
  • how strong you think you are…or are not

It all is washed away in this class.  The energy and joy that Katie gives to her peeps is like nothing I have ever experienced before.  She is a master at flow and moving you from one thing to the next effortlessly. 

If you are new, no worries Рshe cues like a queen. You can follow her, get the most amazing workout of your life, and have a blast in the process. 

The combination of her powerful music and inspirational words is enough to make you want to laugh, cry, and push just a little harder than you did yesterday.

She is the real deal and I am honored to have her as my mentor, boss, and friend.¬† She’s all over the schedule at St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie Athletic and LifePower – Uptown¬†LifeTime Fitness Clubs.¬†¬†¬†Any class you go to, you will not be disappointed.¬†

~ I love you KH~

It all comes down to this:

~fitness is about so much more than sweating and grunting to fit into some crazy pair of jeans~

It’s about:

  • ¬†passion
  • community
  • love for yourself
  • respect for others
  • finding joy, strength and beauty in what you CAN do TODAY.¬†

Tomorrow will be different.  You might be able to push a little harder, or you might have to pull back. 

If you find a community you feel good in, they will help to guide you.¬† The thing is, you won’t find¬†anything sitting on your couch.¬†


~stay positive, stay true to you, be strong~

Remember, finding a class you like really depends on the instructor – it’s like dating…you might have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince/princess.¬† Hopefully I can help you kiss a few less frogs and get to the fun a whole lot faster!!

Until next time…

peace, love and jumping jacks – rock on!


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